Part 8 - The Borderline (El Calafate - Puerto Natales)
Blacktop all the way to El Cerrito and then gravel again, all in winds approaching V-Rod-on-nitro speeds. After passing the BIENVENIDOS A CHILE sign we tool along to the border town of Cerro Castillo where we get through customs in a record breaking 20 minutes. This calls for beer. And then more beer. The last hundred kilometres to the Torres del Paine National Park can wait until tomorrow.
The next day is perfect. The road is as hard and smooth as concrete, the sky a clear blue, and the landscape dotted with curious guanacos, small llama-like creatures. We rumble towards the majestic Torres del Paine National Park, one of the most remote and unspoilt spots on earth, and stop for the night at the Laguna Azul – the Blue Lagoon – a lake formed from a volcanic crater. It’s probably the most breathtakingly beautiful campground in the world.The twilight and the mood around the campfire confirm our worst suspicion: There’s nowhere in the world where one could eat tinned spaghetti à la tuna directly out of the tin in more style. The next day Chile shows only its best. Not only are the roads better here, the hills greener and the trees more abundant, everything costs more too. That is especially true at our day’s destination, Puerto Natales, where all the North- and Southbound traffic converges. The good news is, the Internet works. We celebrate this with some delicious local squid.